While admitting that animals like wild boar, gaur/ bison, monkey and peacock are causing damage to the agricultural fields and horticultural crops in the state, resulting in heavy losses to the farmers, besides some wild animals being responsible for death of people, the department of forest stated that no proposal has been submitted by government to the Centre for declaring any wild animal as vermin, as also there is no such immediate proposition before it.
Acknowledging that the number of attacks by wild animal, particularly by bisons in Sattari taluka has increased, the department further informed that the number of claims for compensation towards damage to the crops by animals is increasing with 192, 176, 168, 122, and 234 such claims settled during the years 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Highly placed sources in the department further maintained that in the meeting of the State Board for Wildlife held in December, last year, it was decided not to recommend declaration of any wild animal as vermin.
“Complaints are being received from farmers, who have suffered losses to crops, and after scrutiny they are provided with compensation under the ‘Shetkari Adhar Nidhi Scheme’ of the agriculture department,” the sources informed, adding that between 2013 and 2017, a total amount of Rs 45.9 lakh has been disbursed towards 892 claims, for such compensation, under this scheme.
“In the year 2013, a sum of Rs 10.99 was paid under Shetkari Adhar Nidhi Scheme’, while amounts of Rs 7.44 lakh, Rs 7.52 lakh, Rs 4.59 lakh and Rs 15.36 lakh was provided under the particular scheme, during the years 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively,” the sources revealed, pointing out that these 892 claims include attacks by wild boars in an area of 170.27 hectares, monkeys in an area of 50.54 hectares, peacocks in an area of 3.629 hectares, and bisons in an area of 60.95 hectares.
It was further informed that during last three years, three deaths have occurred in Goa due to the attacks by the wild animals, and compensation of Rs 2 lakh each has been paid to the families of two of these deceased persons, while police inquiry is on in the third case. Two of these attacks took place in Sattari taluka, while the third one was in the Dharbandora taluka.
“As and when the Gaur/ bison is noticed near human habitation, the forest department deploys team to drive them away,” it was informed, pointing out that in some cases efforts are being made to either tranquilise them or capture by cage and shift them away from the human habitation.
It was further revealed that solar fencing is one of the methods to prevent straying of wild animals into human habitation/ agricultural areas.